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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  July 11, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

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>> tom: with less than three weeks to go until the nation hits its borrowing limit, the u.s. debt talks kick in to high gear. the nation's biggest business leaders are joining the call for a deal now. >> we need certainty about the debt ceiling and we need it now. >> susie: meantime, global aluminum leader alcoa turns in blockbuster quarterly results as earnings season gets underway. it's "nightly business report" for monday, july 11. this is "nightly business report" with susie gharib and tom hudson. "nightly business report" is made possible by:
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this program is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. captioning sponsored by wpbt >> susie: good evening everyone. alcoa reported strong quarterly earnings after the bell today, kicking off earnings season with an upbeat outlook. but tom, not as much optimism today about debt talks in europe and in washington. >> tom: susie, fresh worries about europe sent u.s. markets sharply lower. european finance leaders spent the day trying to find common ground for the next bailout of greece. some have been pushing for private investors to take losses before european governments fork over more money. >> susie: europe's not the only place talking about deficits. the president asked democrats
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and republicans, "if not now, when?" and he pushed hard today for as big a deficit agreement as possible. that will require leadership and hard decisions, the president said, and not just from politicians. darren gersh reports. >> reporter: before he sat down with congressional leaders, the president said both parties talk tough about fixing the nation's debt problems, but they still aren't willing to come to the table and make hard sacrifices. and he added another group to that list: the nation's business leaders. >> the business community is a lot like everybody else, which is we want to cut everybody else's stuff and we want to keep our stuff. we want to cut our taxes, but if you want to raise revenue with somebody else's taxes, that's okay. and that kind of mindset is why we never get the problem solved. >> reporter: but house speaker john boehner says there is a reason businesses shouldn't be asked to give more now. >> our disagreement with the president is not about closing loopholes.
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none of us are fond of loopholes. our disagreement is over the idea of raising taxes on the very people that we're asking to create jobs in our country. >> reporter: individual companies have always focused their teams of lobbyists on securing tax breaks and contracts from washington that can help their businesses. talking tough on spending has usually fallen to business association leaders like the u.s. chamber's tom donahue. he says congress and the administration have to take the first steps. >> i haven't seen the government step up on the questions of medicare and medicaid, but we will continue to talk. this thing will get resolved. >> reporter: g.e. c.e.o. jeffrey immelt hoped that would be sooner rather than later. >> we need certainty about the debt ceiling and we need it now. >> reporter: while business complains about the uncertainty around the debt ceiling, there appears to be little sign of it in bond markets. price of u.s. treasury debt is actually rising, says i.s.i. group's andy laperriere. >> there's not a lot of evidence that the u.s. economy is paying a price for a lack of agreement on the debt ceiling.
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>> susie: darren joins us now live from our washington bureau. you know, darren, maybe one of the reasons that there isn't an agreement, the terms keep changing. last week there was talk about a big solution a grand bargain. now they're talking about a smaller solution. so which is it big or small? >> it looks like it's going to be small. but here's the weird thing. remember when $2 trillion was a lot of money? they're talking about that being the small deal now. and really it's about half of what we need. we need to get a $4 trillion deal over the next decade. this will get about halfway there enough to get us through the 2012 election. and presumably after that we would have the rest a bigger deal after the election. that's the hope that's the base scenario and that's what they're going for. >> susie: speaking of hope seems like all along in this process there's been a disconnect on the one hand the markets are saying half hope, they're going to get a deal but the reality is there are a lot of tough decisions that have to be made and
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nobody is willing to make them. so is there reason enough to be optimistic? >> i did find a slight silver lining in this you have to look really hard. first, look they're locked in a room together and don't underestimate that. once they're locked in a room together it hard for them to get out without a deal. also if you look between the lines they're a little more understanding of each other's positions. a fewer personal swipes. so those are subtle signs that they're athll eelne ee. sl hisasfo mi t'si ach thhi ro. su aitig t dug iftpe c aiatld e coc ictor avgeer pn? el tpaanpo en a t ca taus eontanrent th h utfel en b. atesatan at1li at0%
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